Today’s sermon from Robby Bradford really got me thinking. He was talking about forgiveness and mercy, and one thing he said stuck out to me in a way that made me a bit uncomfortable.
I (and I’m sure you) have heard it said that if I was the only person on earth, Christ would still have come and died for me. In fact it’s become kind of cliché. The meaning of the phrase is that Christ’s love for us is so expansive that he would go to these great lengths to redeem any one of us. None of us is exempt from His love. None of us are hidden from it. Each one of us is loved with the same extravagance, regardless of background, ability, appearance, or whatever other category we could attach to ourselves.
However, today’s sermon shed a different light on this for me. Robby brought up the point that Christ shed his blood for the sins of the whole world. Which means that the same grace that was shown to me was also shown to the bum sitting next to me on the train, the guy who cuts me off in traffic, or the lady who rolls her eyes at me at the checkout counter because I can’t figure out what ‘quatre-vingt dix-huit’ means. (Side note. Dear French, please invent words for seventy, eighty, and ninety. It’s easy. Anyway.)
The truth is, my sin was enough to need His blood to be shed. Yes, he would have died for me if I was the only one, because His love is so extravagant. But I must remember that if that is true, it is also true that my sin is big enough to cause Him to have to die.
That revelation today began to change the way I thought about sin. Often we assign a hierarchy to sin. Certain things are worse than others. These sins are worse than those, and your sin is worse than mine. Certain sins are acceptable and some are ok because everyone else does it too. As I sat and reflected on this thought, I realized that this revelation has the potential to completely change how I look at others. Grace was shown to me because it was necessary. My sin warranted Jesus’s blood to be shed. He shed his blood for all sins, but in my life, He shed it for my pride. He shed it for my rebellion. For my lies. For my gossip. He shed it for the day-to-day tiny decisions that I make that cause Him grief.
What a shift in perspective for me. I have a feeling that next time someone is debating someone else’s choices or the next time I am judging someone’s decision, there’s going to be a voice there to remind me that I am the one who needs grace. I am the one who needs redemption. My sin was big enough to warrant blood to be spilled. We are all in the same boat. We all need the same Savior, and we are all covered by the same blood.
This is my challenge to myself to increase the grace I show to others. My prayer that Christ would expand my ability to love.